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Dem lawmakers: Graduated income tax needed to avoid big cuts

Democratic lawmakers said Thursday the only alternatives to a graduated income tax the state has are to make cuts across the board, including to schools and social services, or raise the income tax by 20 percent on everyone.
Sen. Don Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat, said over the next several weeks, lawmakers will begin moving a resolution through the House and Senate to put a referendum on the ballot in 2020 so voters can choose whether to change the Illinois Constitution to allow for a graduated income tax.
“I am confident as I was two years ago and four years ago and six years ago that the voters will support that,” Harmon said.
He pointed to a recent poll done by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute that found 67 percent of respondents favoring the graduated tax plan.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s initial version of his graduated income tax plan would raise taxes on those earning more than $250,000 a year. People earning more than $1 million or more per year would be taxed at the top rate of 7.95 percent. The current income is 4.95 percent for all individuals, regardless of income level.
Pritzker’s office has said that 97 percent of Illinois taxpayers will pay the same amount or less in income taxes with a graduated income tax.
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